Corran Logo

Urgent demand; urgent response

During the early stages of the Covid pandemic, 4c Engineering joined forces with their neighbours in HIE’s Solasta House facility on the Inverness Campus to meet the current urgent need for PPE. The companies contacted the local hospital to see if their combined design and rapid manufacturing capabilities could be used to tackle a range of key challenges. Their offer to produce face shields was take up by the ICU team at Raigmore, kicking off Project Corran (taken from the Gaelic for crescent, the shape of the face shield when viewed from above).

Working to a clear brief, the team designed the simplest method of providing face protection that would be robust, secure, comfortable and could be rapidly manufactured in volume.

Designing for fast and wide replication

The team had to react to a fast-changing environment, in which the supply chain suddenly challenge increased due to national lockdown which severely curtailed material availability, however led by the Inverness Chamber of Commerce, the business community rallied and went to extra lengths in providing materials. After sourcing materials and refining the design throughout the week, a meeting was held on Friday afternoon where the first prototype was presented to Raigmore ICU and Infection Control staff – they were happy with it exactly as it was, and gave the green light for 1,000 units.

The design, which required only four commonly available components and did not rely on 3d printing (a big production time bottleneck), was made open source with manufacture guidance, and was taken up several other manufacturers across Scotland, and then across the world.

Even as the initial design was being rolled out, the team was working hard to produce an updated version of the visor which was less labour-intensive to produce, more comfortable to wear (according to our local prototype testers), and, most importantly, possible to clean and reuse: see Corran II.